Next Semester Courses (Spring 2022)

ENGL 10000-01           Exploring the Major   HU LA 3A h                             

3 Credits           


INSTRUCTOR:           Derek Adams, Muller 304 

ENROLLMENT:                    25 students per section 

PREREQUISITES:                 None 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:        This course intends to assist scholars interested and/or majoring in Literatures in English (primarily those in their first or second year) with understanding and exploring opportunities available to them during their time at Ithaca College and after graduation. As part of this, you will learn about the mission of a liberal arts education and contemplate the purpose of college. You will also work to define your own purpose in coming to Ithaca College and choosing your major. Though the course is primarily discussion-based, current faculty members and students in the major will deliver guest presentations to introduce you to important information and connect you to useful resources. You will actively pursue knowledge of yourself, your educational options, extra-curricular and professional interests, and you will learn research, writing and decision-making strategies that will benefit you while in college and beyond. We will also dedicate time in class for your own questions to be discussed. 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional context-setting lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: One 500-word personal reflection, and active participation in class discussions. 

ENGL 10500-01, 02 Introduction to American Literature HU LA 3a
3 credits
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines 19th, 20th, and 21st –century literature by writers who explore American identity. Race, class, and gender contribute to the way in which a character’s self is interpreted by others, so these will be frequent topics of discussion. The writers considered here suggest that identity is a “performance,” and that being an American involves the wearing of various masks. Texts will include Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Gish Jen’s Who’s Irish?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with occasional lectures
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Several (1-page) response papers, two (5-page) essays, a mid-term, and a final exam. Participation is 10-15% of your grade, so silence is ill advised. Attendance policy.



ICC DESIGNATION: Themes and Perspectives: Humanities; Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation.

INSTRUCTOR: Paul Hansom. Muller 321

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section


STUDENTS: Open to all students.


What is poetry? What happens when you read it? To answer these questions, we’ll read a thematically, and formally broad range of poems and exercise an equally broad set of approaches to reading, thinking, and writing critically about poetry. We’ll begin by studying the formal elements of a poem thereby familiarizing ourselves with poetic terminology. Then, we will read poems from a modern and contemporary American context, examining a variety of themes with attention to the contextual forces of class politics, race, gender, and ecological concern.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion, limited lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two essays, two response papers, presentation questions and blogs. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-based format of the course, participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 11300, 03, 04 Introduction to Poetry 3 Credits

ICC THEMES: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation ICC PERSPECTIVES: Humanities and Creative Arts


ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section


COURSE DESCRIPTION: How does a poem produce meaning? What does poetry do with language? This course is an introduction to a) the constituent elements of poems and the vocabulary with which we can analyze them and b) the extraordinary variety and capaciousness of texts we call “poems.” The aim of this course is to arrive at a sense, both ample and precise, of what a poem is, what it does, how it does what it does, and, perhaps, why we should care.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion (online, mostly synchronous)

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Short writing assignments, recitations, poetic compositions, annotated poetry anthology, lively participation.

ENGL 18200-01           The Power of Injustice & the Injustice of Power                             HU LA 3A h 

TOPIC:                         Life at the Margins in American Literature 

3 Credits           

ICC ATTRIBUTE:        Diversity, Humanities Perspective, Power & Justice and Identities Themes 

INSTRUCTOR:             Derek Adams, Muller 304 

ENROLLMENT:           20 per section 


COURSE DESCRIPTION:        Many individuals continue to feel as though they live at the margins of society, despite the “melting pot” rhetoric of inclusivity and acceptance that dominates narratives of American identity. While we commonly consider purposeful exclusion an act of injustice on the part of the powerful, we are often unaware of the way that subtle, hidden forms of power render particular groups and individuals powerless. American literature is one of the most widely utilized platforms for articulating the specific issues that arise in response to these forms of power. This course will use an array of American literary texts to explore the complexities of the life experiences of those who are forced by the powerful to live at the margins. We will read the work of Rebecca Harding Davis, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Junot Diaz, Adam Mansbach, ZZ Packer, and Tommy Orange.   

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Students will closely examine course materials, actively engage in class discussions, write short textual analysis essays and a narrative analysis reflection, and regularly post to our Sakai Forum.

English 19419-01,02  Story Power: Fairy Tales


ICC DESIGNATION: Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, 434 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children?  How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures?  What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood, reading English translations of the tales collected by German and Italian folklorists.  While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways.  Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen.  Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies. 


COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Three short (2 pages) response papers, one 3-4 page essay and one 4-5 page essay, a take-home final exam, a presentation, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F.  Due to the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.



ICC ATTRIBUTE: Writing Intensive 

INSTRUCTOR: Kasia Bartoszynska


What does it mean to be good at reading? What do we do when we “study” literature? In this class, we examine different ways to analyze and interpret texts, and think about what kind of knowledge those interpretations produce—what, and who, they’re for. Why do we read? What is literature? How do we go about understanding it better? And how does it help us understand the world better (does it, really?)? In order to answer these questions, we’ll look at some of the ways people have tried to answer them in the past — at what is called literary theory.  

But as we’re examining these different theories, we’ll also be putting them into practice by reading various works of literature: Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”, Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem, James Joyce’s The Dead, and othersThe real goal of the course is to give students the opportunity to develop their own critical perspective, to refine the tools they use to argue for the kinds of interpretations they care about, whether that’s the gender politics of the Marvel universe or the character structure of the Twilight books.  

PREREQUISITE: One course in English. This course is designed primarily for first-years and sophomores who are working towards an English major, though others are welcome.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active class participation, regular short writing assignments, one in-class presentation, two formal essays.

ENGL 21900-01, -02, SHAKESPEARE: Why Shakespeare Now?


ICC DESIGNATION: Perspectives: HU; Themes: Identities/Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section

PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why study Shakespeare now? The question has never been more pressing for those who would situate the playwright and his works at the heart of English studies and other Humanities disciplines. Shakespeare was an immensely talented poet, but he died over 400 years ago. Of what use can he be in grappling with the problems that currently confront us?—rising tides of political authoritarianism and institutional corruption; economic inequality, systemic racism, xenophobia, misogynistic violence; and, critically, the ideological and epistemological polarization that prevents us from arriving at a consensus on ‘reality’ itself? If Shakespeare’s works are to have relevance in 2021, they arguably must help bring the socio-political challenges we face into clearer focus and inspire us to respond to those challenges. Whether indeed they have this capacity will be the question that guides us throughout the semester. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is necessary to succeed in this course—only enthusiasm, curiosity, and a readiness to study three artistic masterpieces—The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest—in the contexts of Shakespeare’s time and our own.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Active participation; a reading journal; final reflective essay. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 21900  03, 04  Shakespeare


ICC DESIGNATION:  Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation  

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322

ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.

CRN:  40406/40407

PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor.  This course may be repeated for credit provided there is no duplication of the plays studied.

OBJECTIVES:   By studying comedies, tragedies, romances, and histories, the course will introduce Shakespeare’s theatre to both initiates and novices.  As we read the plays themselves we will study Shakespeare’s time, politics, religious, cultural, and scientific beliefs; what biography we possess and can conjecture; the workings of the Elizabethan theatre; Shakespeare’s poetic craft; his contemporary and subsequent reputation and that of individual plays; the vexed history of the texts themselves; and the forms and procedures of individual works as well as those of the genres of tragedy, comedy, romance, and history.  Using both the foreground of the texts and the background of context we will approach larger questions of meaning, both for Shakespeare’s time and for our own.  Substantial emphasis will be placed on the question of pleasure–why these plays pleased and still do; and on the question of cultural function, both in Shakespeare’s time and in our own.

Shakespeare set more of his plays in Italy than any of his contemporaries, and we will explore his use of Italian settings and plots through our readings of Two Gentlemen of VeronaTaming of the ShrewRomeo and JulietMuch Ado about NothingMerchant of VeniceOthello, and Winter’s Tale, works which span his career from earlies to latest.

STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lectures.

REQUIREMENTS: Close reading of seven plays; completion of all assigned readings (quizzes will be given at each class); one written response each class; participation in classroom discussion; memorization of fifty lines during the course of the semester; two five-page essays; essay mid-term and final exam.




INSTRUCTOR: Christine Kitano, Smiddy 411 

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section 

PREREQUISITE: One LA course in H&S. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will provide an overview of the writings of Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Sonia Sanchez, June Jordan, and Janice Mirikitani, poets who have often been marginalized or otherwise excluded from the academic canon. These poets were trailblazers who, through their poetry and activism, work to embody the personal as political, to forge new paths for women and BIPOC women writers. Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Gloria Anzaldua will provide the theoretical groundwork for this course. We will ask: what is the relationship between the personal and the political? How does poetry resist the structures of capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, and white supremacy? What is the function of poetry in social justice? And ultimately, can poetry change the world? 

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures. 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Brief response papers, two 5-7 page essays, and class participation. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades. 

ENGL 22100-01 African American Literature Survey

3 Credits

ICC Attribute: Diversity        

INSTRUCTOR: Derek Adams, Muller 304


PREREQUISITES: One course in the Humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing

COURSE DESCRIPTION:    This survey course traces the development of African American literature from the colonial era to the present. It is organized through the conventions of genre rather than chronology. Primarily our interest will be in how authors represent what is commonly (and problematically) known as “the black experience.” Our exploration will consider the role of violence, cultural memory, gender and sexuality, trauma, folklore, signifying, humor, and family in shaping this experience. As we proceed, we will also focus on the unique relationship between this body of literature and the American literary canon overshadowing it. **This version of the course is distinctive as it will be closely linked with a sister course at Elmira College (ENGL 230 – African American Literature) , taught by Dr. Tom Nurmi, Assistant Professor of English. The two courses will share common readings, lectures, a field trip, and an assignment which will require students from both colleges to read and respond to a partner’s writing and research.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion with the occasional lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Active and regular participation is a substantive factor in the grading. There will be three textual analysis essays, an in-class presentation, a reading journal, and a final exam.



ICC DESIGNATION:  Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR:  Alexis Kellner Becker

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES:   One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing; WRTG10600 or equivalent.

OBJECTIVES: This course provides a partial introduction to the huge range of literature written between c. 800 and c. 1500 CE, primarily in the British Isles. Who produced medieval literature? Who read it or listened to it? How did medieval writers wrestle with the social, economic, political, economic, and ecological problems of their time? How did they think about history? How did they tackle the question of what it means to be a person, a citizen, and/or a fictional character? This course will explore how imaginative literature in the Middle Ages created different kinds of human, nonhuman, and superhuman subjects, real and imaginary. How, we will ask, can this literature help us think through our own ideas about how to read and how to live?  Readings may include Old English elegies and riddles, Icelandic saga, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Mabinogion, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Langland’s Piers Plowman, Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Love, and Middle English lyric.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE:  Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Three 4-5-page essays, one short response paper, a term paper, and class participation.  Grading will be A-F based on the above requirements.  Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an essential part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 27400 Golden Age of Children’s Literature CRN: 40879 

INSTRUCTOR:  Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4- 1575 



NOTE: This course counts for the English Department’s pre-20th century requirement; Its approval for the ICC theme “Identities” is pending 

OBJECTIVES: This course supplies an overview of pre-20th century children's literature with particular focus on the ’Golden Age of Children's Literature’ in the Victorian era. The class will look at the precursors to the golden age texts: chap books, didactic literature, fables and fairytales, and will then go on to look at some of the major texts of the era in both fiction and verse.  Novels will include: Alice in Wonderland; Little Women; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Treasure Island; Tom Sawyer; The Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden. 

FORMAT/STYLE:  Lecture, discussion, small group, collaborative activities 

GRADING:  Weekly response pieces; individual presentation; mid-term; final project.  

ENGL 29700 (02) Professional Development Practicum (Graphic Novels)

INSTRUCTOR: Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, Ext. 4- 1575



OBJECTIVES: The "Graphic Novel Advisory Board" is a group of IC students who get together to review children's and teen's graphic novels. They share their findings with rural librarians and discuss ways for them to enhance their collections of graphic novels. The group puts out a monthly newsletter reviewing a wide range of graphic novels. This 1.5 credit experimental course is a great opportunity for anyone interested in education, promoting reading, or marketing/publishing graphic novels. If the pandemic allows, we also host community events promoting reading and collaborate with ITHACON to provide a whimsical reading room.

FORMAT/STYLE: Small group collaborative activities, regular writing assignments, weekend site visits.

GRADING: Performance of assigned tasks, participation in site visits, regular writing assignments, end-of-semester assessment based on personal goals (may involve event planning, reviewing, editing, or doing website enhancement), reflection on event and personal achievement.



ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breen, 302 Muller, ext. 4-1014

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: “Comedy” and “tragedy” are ancient categories, invoked originally to describe different kinds of dramatic composition. Though this distinction remains a convenient (and relevant) one for contemporary readers and audiences, it is also the case that these seemingly simple, seemingly antithetical terms convey a range of emotion and experience that is not always easily divisible. Tragic—or potentially tragic—situations often arise in comedy, and there are moments in most tragedies at which the plays seem as though they might begin to move in more optimistic or affirming directions. This course will begin with the hypothesis that the terms “comedy” and “tragedy” describe actions taken by dramatic characters in response to crisis, and the specific consequences of those actions. As such, we will attempt to locate “comedy” and “tragedy” within fundamental elements of human experience, and examine the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of each. We will read a selection of plays from the Classical, Renaissance English, and Restoration traditions including Sophocles’ Ajax, Plautus’ Pseudolus, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II and Aphra Behn’s The Feigned Courtesans.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two 5-7-page essays, a short (2-3 pages) response paper, a take-home final exam, and class participation. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.



ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive

INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breen, 302 Muller, ext. 4-1014

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English, history of the theater, or introduction to the theater.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What is the nature of the relationship of contemporary theater to the past? This question has acquired a particular urgency in the present for both formal and substantive reasons. Formally, theater is in some ways a generic anachronism: an aesthetic relic from before the time of broadcast media. Substantively, theater can both reflect and challenge aesthetic, social, and political traditions while at the same time highlighting its capacity to serve as a historical and ethical laboratory. We will read a selection of plays from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that confront, reframe, or otherwise engage with certain aspects of the past, including theater’s own past. Authors to be studied include Baraka, Beckett, Brecht, Cobb, Friel, Ionescu, MacDonald, Nottage, O’Casey, Schreck, Soyinka, and Stoppard.

ENGL 32500 Medieval Mysticisms

INSTRUCTOR: Alexis Becker, Muller 330

PREREQUISITE: Any three courses in English or permission of instructor. 

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Two 5-7-page essays, a short (2-3 pages) response paper, a take-home final exam, and class participation. Grading will be A-F. Because of the discussion-oriented format, class participation will be an important part of students’ final grades.

The Middle Ages saw religious thinkers looking to become one with the divine – and then trying to figure out how to mediate that immediate and ineffable experience through writing. As a result, these texts are often magnificently strange. This course will look at writing from the mystical traditions of the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, with a particular focus on how mysticism could sometimes subvert traditional (classed, gendered) categories of knowledge. Topics discussed will include visions, the political stakes of mystical experience, questions of expertise and authority, affective piety, the category of “experience,” religious eros, and vernacular theology. Texts include passages from the Zohar; the poetry of Rumi and of Mechthild of Magdeburg, among others; Aishah al-Bauniyyah’s Principles of Sufism; Marguerite Porete’s Mirror of Simple Souls; The Cloud of Unknowing; and Julian of Norwich’s Revelation of Divine Love.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Mostly discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Grading will be based on presentations, written assignments, and an interpretative or research paper or project. In addition, because of the discussion-oriented format of the course, class participation will form a major part of students’ final grades.

ENGL 38200—01 Modern Literature 1: Feminist Fictions CRN: 40887 

INSTRUCTOR:  Katharine Kittredge, Muller 317, kkittredge@ithaca.edu 


PREREQUISITES: Three English courses  

OBJECTIVES:  Feminist Fictions looks at twentieth and twentieth century novels, essays, and other forms of media which have shocked the nation and shaped the feminist movement.  Texts will include The Bell JarRubyfruit JungleFear of Flying, and Stone Butch Blues, and essays from Audre Lorde, Roxanne Gay and Lindy West.  Films and TV shows will be added according to popular demand. WARNING: course material includes explicit sexual descriptions including queer sexual activity and non-normative play. 

FORMAT/STYLE: Full and small group discussion; collaborative activities, presentation on favorite example of female/queer representation. 

GRADING:  Performance of assigned tasks, weekly blog posts, one pop culture presentation, some mid-term activity; final project.  



ICC DESIGNATION: Identities; Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, 322 Muller

ENROLLMENT: 20 students

PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The gleaming hilltop institutions where wise professors dispense enlightenment to eager youth often fall short of their professed ideals; as we know, the business of education can go seriously wrong. Novelists, ever keen to examine human nature at its most twisted, have explored the dark corners of education’s failures in works that subject our worst personal and institutional lapses to the harsh and harrowing—but often comical--light of fictive imagination.

We’ll read novels of racial discrimination and passing (Roth’s The Human Stain); anxious imposters who profess knowledge they don’t possess (DeLillo’s White Noise); treatments of cultish madness and magic (Donna Tartt’s The Secret History & Mona Awad’s Bunny); novels of predatory teacher-student relationships (Nabokov’s Lolita and Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa), and finally a serio-comic epistolary novel following the travails of a grouchy over-the-hill English prof no longer in sync with his department, Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members.

These novels shed a dark light on the enterprise we are engaged in; by turns dreadful and hilarious, these works will help us better understand the work we do, the lives we live, and the power of story to instruct, horrify, and delight.

FORMAT AND STYLE: Class is highly conversational.

REQUIREMENTS: Class attendance and participation; two six-page essays; reading quiz and reading response every class; take-home mid-term and final.

Grading: Based on attendance, participation, and completion of the above requirements.



ICC DESIGNATION: Capstone course

INSTRUCTOR: Dan Breen, 302 Muller, ext. 4-1014

ENROLLMENT: 20 students per section

PREREQUISITE: Senior standing in English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their four years of study as English majors and within the ICC. The goal of the course is to complete all necessary material for the ICC e-portfolio, and for students to consider their own experiences within the context of College academic programming as well as the framework of the liberal arts more generally.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, with some context-setting lectures.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One 1000-word reflective essay, one shorter reflective assignment, and class participation. Grading will be P/F.

ENGL 46000-01 Seminar in 20th Century Fiction: The Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro

3 credit
INSTRUCTOR: Chris Holmes
PREREQUISITE: 9 credits in English. Junior or Senior Status

Course Description: This junior/senior seminar will focus entirely on the novels and writings of the Japanese-British writer, Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the most important contemporary novelists writing in English. By the time Ishiguro had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, he was already one of the most popular novelists in Britain, and one of the most translated writers in the world. His two most acclaimed novels, The Remains of the Day, the story of a butler living in a Nazi-sympathizer's manor house in England, and Never Let Me Go, a science fiction hybrid novel about school children who are raised for their organs, were both adapted into successful films. We will read most of his published work, including a collection of short stories, while becoming familiar with the tradition of academic writing that has sprung up around his career. Enrolled students will become experts on the work of one of world literature's biggest stars. Assignments will be modeled on a graduate school seminar.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar Discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: One five-page literature review and precis paper, and one 10-12 page research essay. Regular presentations and short writing exercises. A great deal of emphasis placed on regular discussion and preparation of the class materials.